How often should you change smoke alarm batteries?Mayara
Once you have a smoke detector installed, you expect you’ll never have to think about it again, right? However, like most electrical appliances, you must check your smoke detectors regularly for essential maintenance procedures. Once the equipment starts chirping or beeping, for example, it might be a sign of low battery or poor connection. But, how often should you change smoke alarm batteries? Find out in the article below so you can be prepared for any emergency.
Why should I check smoke detector batteries?
It seems very simple, but most people don’t realize how important it is to have your fire alarm system checked regularly. Smoke detectors are initiating devices, which means they are responsible for triggering the entire fire alarm system. Consequently, if a smoke detector is not working correctly, you might lose precious moments when you know that every minute counts.
According to NFPA’s study, approximately 40% of all home fire deaths happen in places with no smoke alarms, and 17% in homes where smoke alarms aren’t working properly. Considering the places where there are smoke detectors, 43% of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. On top of that, dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of smoke alarm failures. It is better not to take a risk, right?
How often should I change smoke alarm batteries?
The recommended procedure is to check your smoke alarm batteries at least every month or every quarter of a year (one to three months each year). It might seem like too much, but what many people don’t realize is that smoke detectors run 24/7.
If you have ionization smoke detectors, the battery supplies electricity to positive and negative electrodes. Photoelectric alarms, on the other hand, have an LED light that is cast onto a photoelectric sensor. Either way, if your smoke alarm doesn’t carry a fresh battery, it won’t support these constant services. That’s why you should always replace your smoke detector battery right after it emits a warning beep or chirp.
If you’re not able to check your smoke alarms monthly, most manufacturers recommend replacing the battery at least once a year. It also might be a good idea to have replacement batteries on standby. This way, every time you need to replace one, you would have access to it immediately.
How do I change smoke detector batteries?
Changing a smoke detector battery is relatively easy. When you notice something unusual, you can check the equipment and replace the battery yourself.
- First, you have to be sure you are using the correct type of battery. Some detectors use lithium batteries that will last for ten years. These are not supposed to be changed. If your smoke detector uses regular batteries, you can change them within the time frame mentioned above.
- Once you are ready to change the battery, you’ll have to remove the smoke detector from its mounting on the ceiling or at the wall. If your sensors are hard-wired into your house’s power system, you should turn the power off before doing that.
- To remove the smoke alarm from its mounting, you might need to twist it or slide.
- Once you remove the smoke detector’s head, you can open the battery compartment and install the new battery. Generally, once you remove the detector’s cover, you’ll be able to locate the battery compartment without problems.
- Before you reinstall the smoke detector, you can make sure that the new batteries are working correctly by using the test button located in the face of the device. You would need to press the button for a few seconds, and the alarm should sound.
- If successful, you can reattach the smoke detector to its mounting base and that’s it!
Other maintenance procedures you have to consider
When you check your smoke detector’s batteries, you should also pay attention to other details. If there is any corrosion, for example, they should be changed immediately.
Another maintenance procedure you should carry out regularly is to clean the smoke alarms. Dust, dirt, and even small insects might induce your smoke detectors into false alarms. So the best to do is to keep a cleaning routine. When you clean your smoke detectors, be sure to do it lightly to avoid accidentally damaging the equipment.
If you need to purchase any smoke detectors or fire alarm units, you can count on The Fire Alarm Supplier to help you. We carry a wide range of products and have a straightaway availability for our top selling smoke detectors, such as the Simplex 4098-9714. If you need any help in choosing the best option, just let us know.